Fly91, the regional airline with Goa as the main base, received the No Objection Certificate from the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA). It will now begin getting an Air Operator’s Permit (AOP) from the DGCA. It aims to start operations this year between October and December.
The airline promoters are Manoj Chacko, Executive Vice President of defunct Kingfisher Airlines, and Harsha Raghavan, the former head of Fairfax India. The airline will have a fleet of ATR-72 with 76 seats. It will begin operations with three aircraft and eventually scale up to six in the first year of operations. The airline aims to cover remote airports that cannot handle bigger Airbus A320 or Boeing B737 aircraft. It can cover many locations in Karnataka and Maharashtra, like Shirdi, Hubbali, Nashik, and Belgaum.
The airline’s parent company is Just Udo, headed by Raghavan and Chacko, and has raised a capital of ₹200 crores. Speaking on occasion, Chacko added that he strongly advocates the lowest unit cost for an airline and would like to build Fly91’s business model similar to IndiGo or Air Arabia.
History bears witness to the downfall of regional carriers, like Truejet and Pegasus, in Indian aviation due to intense competition from mainstream airlines with bigger businesses and low unit economics. Fly91 plans to have an open API system, sign codeshare, and interline agreements with mainstream carriers. As a result, any domestic or international airline that needs to fly to a remote airport will be able to tie up with the airline to offer last-mile connectivity to their passengers on a single ticket. In India, only IndiGo and SpiceJet have a fleet of smaller turboprop aircraft and can become potential partners.